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White Mariposas, Mexico
by Susan Florence
Oh, our mothers are leaving us, like white butterflies
they lift. I look out above lighted jungle leaves
and watch them rise in pure ascent.
Dear cousin, your email says, Mom Is Failing Fast.
I wish I could be with you now, back
in the summers when we were country girls.
There, I can see Aunt Annie in her apron,
hear her call and the wood screen door slam
as we carry our secrets in and out, out and in.
Ice tea waits in the tin pitcher with cool water
pumped from the well, and vine red tomatoes
sliced in Wonder bread sandwiches.
Raucous, yellow-bellied kiskadees wake me here,
like the cows that bellowed us out of bed
on hot August mornings at the ranch.
They wake my thoughts about your mom and mine,
dear sisters, they are leaving us, like white butterflies
they lift, and we can't touch them as they fly.